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About Barbara

Barbara Cohn is the Chief Data Officer, Senior Consultant at Xentity, and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). A leader in Open Data, and an expert in public policy, Barbara has over twenty years of public sector experience in leadership roles in state and local government. Barbara previously served as New York State’s first Chief Data Officer (CDO). In 2016, Barbara was recognized as one of Government Technology Magazine’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers, & Drivers. She has an extensive background in advancing the utilization of data as a strategic asset with the objective of turning raw data into actionable knowledge; maximizing business value and insight; cultivating collaboration between business and IT within and across organizations; developing governance policies and standards; and facilitating interoperability and analytics.

As New York State CDO, Barbara was the chief architect of New York State’s acclaimed open data portal, Open NY, and principal drafter of the NYS Open Data Handbook and the NYS Dataset Submission Guide. Prior to serving as NYS Chief Data Officer, Barbara worked for NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg where she advanced implementation of HHS Connect, a cutting-edge data sharing initiative breaking down information silos to optimize client care and outcomes. HHS Connect transformed the delivery of health and human services by providing a holistic/client centric approach to the delivery of care.

Barbara is the author of the Law Journal article, Data Governance: A Quality Imperative in the Era of Big Data, Open Data, and Beyond (Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Winter 2015), and co-author of Legal Issues for Integrated Delivery Systems (IDS) Use: Finding a Way Forward, University of Pennsylvania, Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy, Expert Panel Report, 2017. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Union College in Schenectady, New York, and a Juris Doctor degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School.

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